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Purim

PJTC 2022 Purim Programming  |  Online Purim Resources 

 

What is Purim?

Purim - The Feast of Lots - is a celebration of the saving of the Jewish people from a massacre in Persia (modern day Iran) during the period of 539-330BC. The heroine of the story is Esther, as told in her namesake scroll "The Book of Esther." She was a Jewish woman who rose to become the Queen of Persia (though most people were not aware she was Jewish, including the King). When the hateful grand vizier, Haman, plots the destruction of the Jewish people, Queen Esther's cousin and guardian, Mordecai, convinces her to use her power to help her Jewish brethren. Despite being scared for her own life, she bravely reveals her Jewish identity to her husband, King Ahashverosh, and asks him to support her and the Jewish people...and he does! Haman and his followers are punished in place of the Jews that they targeted.

What are the customs and traditions followed on Purim?

Baking Hamantaschen: In preparation for Purim, many people bake home made hamantashcen, a triangular-shaped and filled pastry that is reminiscent of the three-cornered hat the evil Haman wore in the story of Purim. See below for recipes! (And, there's no shame in buying professionally baked hamantaschen to enjoy...not everyone is a master chef.)

Megillah Reading: Reading the scroll of Esther in synagogue is the centerpiece of the Purim celebration. While most of the time, parents are hushing their children during services, during the Purim Megillah reading, raucous behavior is actually encouraged. Especially when those telling the story solicit all of the cheering (for Esther and "the good guys") and booing/noisemaking (for Haman and his minions) that have become a well-practiced part of the listening experience. To watch a video of our full 2022 Megillah reading, click here.

Purim Theatrics: Special reenactments of the story of Purim are often displayed for the entertainment of your little ones outside of synagogue. Watching older children and adults have fun and be silly pretending to be the well-known characters of Queen Esther and Haman is a great Purim pastime for children. Not only do the actors tend to dress up, but children take the opportunity to dress up as their favorite Purim characters too!...or Batman, Kobe Bryant, Rey from Star Wars, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle...you know, other people who save the day, like Esther.

Groggers: A grogger (gragger in Yiddish, ra'ashan in Hebrew) is a noisemaker that is used to drown out Haman's name during the Megillah reading on Purim. It is a hand held item that is normally a rachet/spinning device or something hollow that's contents rattle when shaken.

Mishloach Manot: Purim is a holiday during which we focus on taking care of our community, just as Esther did for hers. Common practice is to create care packages filled with food for family, neighbors, friends and the poor to make sure everyone has food on their table. Tzedakah (Hebrew for "rightous giving" or "commanded giving," pronouced tzuh-DAH-kah) and Matanot l’evyonim (Hebrew for "gifts to the poor", pronounced mah-tah-NOTE leh-ehv-yon-EEM) are big themes of Purim, and in Judaism in generalWhat might you include in your Mishloach Manot basket? Hamantaschen are generally a staple, as well as fruit. But the fun of it is creating the basket that is uniquely from you or for your intended recipients. Maybe your circle prefers wine and cheese? Perhaps your audience is on the younger side and might like yummy snacks, groggers and masks?

Taanit Esther: (pronouced tah-ah-NEET EH-ster) Hebrew for "The Fast of Esther" - from sunrise to sunset on the day before Purim, we fast as did Esther and the Jewish people. 

Se'udah: (pronouced seh-oo-DAH or SOO-dah) A festive meal is generally shared with family and friends, occasionally followed by (for the adults) alcoholic libations.

Attire: Purim is a festive holiday and people tend to dress, well, festive. It's a "let loose" kind of holiday that encourages a party atmosphere and fun costumes.

 

The Significance of Purim

Purim's core is a celebration of Esther's courage and her care for her community over her own safety, which saved the Jewish people in Persia from an evil plot to destroy them. We focus on the joy of knowing our people were saved. We focus on Esther as a role model for putting the care of your community first. And, we focus on the hope that this story gives us - that through the bravery of individuals and the will of God, everything will be alright in the end. 

 

2022 PJTC Programming

Our Purim activities will be centered around the 4 mitzvot of Purim (and FUN!). Sign up for any or all of the mitzvot HERE.

Purim Se'udah [A festive meal] Wednesday, March 16 @5:30pm  Come together (outdoors at PJTC) for a community meal and Megillah reading. Enjoy the company and seeing the smiling faces of your fellow congregants as you eat FREE Kosher Persian Food from Kabob By Faraj, sponsored by a group of PJTC families. Kosher meat and vegan options available. Cocktails sponsored by Men's Club and mocktails by USY.

Kr'iat Megillah [Reading of the Megillah] Wednesday, March 16 @6:30pm Performances by you! Join us in person outdoors or over Zoom at home to enjoy video skits of each chapter of the Megillah, acted out by LBSRS and other groups of talented PJTC members. Our 4 Mitzvot for Purim sign up form has a place to sign up to create your own skit (even if you can't make the Megillah reading live!). Watch from the comfort of your home via live stream by clicking here; Members will receive an email with an optional Zoom link. To watch a video of our full 2022 Megillah reading, click here.

Mishloach Manot [Giving gift baskets to friends and family] + Matanot La'evyonim [Charitable giving] Tuesday, March 15  Sisterhood is helping us make double the difference for PJTC's community and our neighbors in need. Sisterhood, along with their team of friendly religious school volunteers, will deliver Mishloach Manot Happy Purim greetings to congregant homes. AND, NEW IN 2022...While making their special deliveries, volunteers will also pick up any canned goods/care kit items left at the front door by congregants. You can choose to donate non-perishable foods to Foothill Unity or care kit items for Friends In Deed. When you sign up, you will get an emailed list of needed items for both organizations.

As part of this year's Purim CAR-nival, participants can donate to tzedakah and take a shot, from their cars, at dunking the clergy in our first-ever dunk tank!

 

Drive-Thru Event: Purim CAR-nival    Sunday, March 20 from 10:00am - 12:30pm

Even your car can dress up in a Purim costume this year! All ages are welcome to sign up for a time slot and enjoy a drive-through, COVID-friendly Purim carnival experience. A mix of games, distanced interactive experiences, a Rabbi & Cantor dunk tank for charity, and more! Click here to sign up for a drive-thru time slot! (Reservations & masks required.)

How can your car be in costume, you ask? Here's some inspiration...

    

      

 

Online Resources

​​​Getting Ready for Purim:

Song & Prayer:

Kids Corner

Fri, December 9 2022 15 Kislev 5783